JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For most of us, dropping the big city trash can at the end of the driveway is a weekly chore. And it may seem as if it disappears like magic by the end of the day.
But it actually takes a lot of hard work to haul away the garbage from 840 square miles and thousands of miles of roads in Jacksonville -- rain or shine.
The often thankless job performed by the men and women employed by the city's trash collection contractors helps keep disease, litter and overrun dump heaps at bay.
John Arwood, a Jacksonville resident who owns Arwood Waste Collection Services and is a second-generation garbage man, wants to raise awareness for the profession and created National Garbage Man Day in 2012.
In honor of Arwood's efforts and the work of the sanitation industry employees, the city of Jacksonville will recognize Garbage Man Week from June 17-24.
There was once a time people threw buckets of sewage off balconies and trash into the streets. But now we have teams of often-forgotten workers making sure that doesn't happen.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention credits effective garbage disposal with helping to eradicate diseases in the Western World.
“Without the garbage men of our communities, many cities would be driven to a state of disorder,” according to the National Garbage Man Day website.
Arwood encourages the community to join the National Garbage Man Day celebration by inviting friends and neighbors to show their appreciation. It can be as simple as a thank you or you can grab your little ones and fill out a free Garbage Man Day coloring book provided by the organization: https://www.garbagemanday.org/store-specials/.
If you want to be more creative, they also provide stickers and thank you cards. Once you finish, hand it to your local waste collectors to show your appreciation.
After all, the world would be disgusting without them, Arwood says.